News Karnataka
Thursday, December 07 2023
Brian's Subtle Humour

The value of your Gold rises when your house is on fire!

Silence is Gold!
Photo Credit : Unsplash

Gold is at a premium in our country and is often smuggled from countries where it is commonplace and more affordable (read less taxed!). The Customs Department has the right to seize it, if it’s in excess of the prescribed amount, and can even initiate criminal proceedings, but the catch is they cannot do so if it is carried in the form of silence.

For the ignorant and those afflicted with verbal diarrhea, and there are but a handful, silence is Gold!

There is no prescribed limit to this Gold because those that are tasked with proscribing it or prescribing its limits love it to the limit! And Sky is the limit, both at a T20 match and beyond. Pun intended, by the way.

Silence, unlike its alias Gold, does not generate its value from the normative, but from the interpretative mining process. Its value is mostly discovered in a conflict similar to how carbon becomes a diamond. It’s a value-addition process! The conflict can be geo-political or in Marriage which in itself is a geo-political conflict of a different kind.

Silence is commonplace when our own house is on fire, the logic being perhaps, speaking may fuel the flame, while silence can douse it. Indeed, there are several advantages to silence. It gives the impression of serious reflection even as flames lick the feet. Much like the sages of yore!

And maybe the reflection is real – it must appear like that – on our thoughts and emotions as our house burns. “Let it go. What can I do? I tried to prevent it. My bucket of water won’t help. Best to appear thoughtful and busy with other things”.

It also gives the impression of active listening, and impressions are like gold inlays, Active listening, most counsellors’ will tell you, is hard to do, and even harder to pretend to do. Mostly it’s an act and believe me, it’s a tough act (not as tough as the PMLA).

Silence does not give your game away, for one neither knows if you have set fire to the house or just want to see it burn to the ground for a variety of reasons, or indeed neither – you are just an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire, that you hope you didn’t start!

But it can also diffuse tensions don’t you think? Or maybe it’s a way of respecting the emotions of others who are truly upset with the sight of a burning house! It’s also a powerful communication tool used for telling people nothing of what you think or feel – if you actually do either or both.

But silence is also often interpreted as consent for whatever is happening around you. We all know in times of grief, a gentle touch, a reassuring look, or a moment of silence can speak volumes. But not too many moments. Like drops of water make an ocean, too many moments can be misinterpreted as indifference, lack of interest, or even avoidance. When communication is essential, staying silent may lead to misunderstandings and escalate tensions because they build resentment. And that’s when the wedding band falls off!

As the famous proverb “silence is golden” suggests that there are times when remaining silent or refraining from speaking is more valuable and beneficial than expressing oneself through words. Maybe it is also an indication of Self-Control?

Of course, there are different ways to interpret the proverb “Silence is golden.” One interpretation is that silence can be a sign of wisdom. When we are silent, we are taking the time to think before we speak. We are also giving others the opportunity to speak. This can lead to more productive and meaningful conversations unless people are afraid to speak!.

Another interpretation of the proverb is that silence can be a sign of strength. When we are silent, we are not giving in to our emotions. We are not letting our anger, our fear, or our sadness control us. This can be a very powerful thing.

Of course, there are also times when silence is not golden. Sometimes, it is important to speak up, even if it is difficult. For example, if we see someone being bullied or harassed, we should speak out against it. We should also speak up if we see something that is wrong or unjust.

Ultimately, the proverb “silence is golden” is a reminder that there is a time and place for silence. Sometimes, it is better to be silent than to speak. But other times, it is important to speak up. The key is to know when to do which. Incidentally, it’s entirely possible to appear eloquent when you speak your mind on issues other than those on which you are left speechless, in turn leaving us speechless!

Obviously, there is no one-size-fits-all answer,  – though for some its a stock response – but your choices of when you remain silent and when you speak and where, will and can sometimes reflect your wisdom, sometimes your disdain, sometimes your indifference, and sometimes your goals and sometimes your guilt.

Incidentally, there is an article in the constitution an accused (on social media or elsewhere) can remain silent in his own defense. It is based on the legal maxim “nemo teneteur prodre accussare seipsum”, which means “No man is obliged to be a witness against himself.”

This right is derived from Article 20(3) of the Constitution, which states that “no person accused of any offense shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.” So when silence is constitutionally appropriate, it cannot be said that silence is negative.  Unlike the 5th Amendment to the US Constitution, it’s an original, not an afterthought! Nobody can use your silence as evidence of guilt unless there is corroborating, circumstantial, and non-circumventable evidence that establishes such guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and silence always creates that reasonable doubt!

I know you’ve been silently reading this to completion. Fruition is another matter. But surely your Gold stockpile has gone up! That’s good for Per Capita Income, and Income Tax!

Enjoy the week in silence. Lay your troubles on your ears, and not on your tongue and you will be a happy, successful person!

Photo by Dave on Unsplash

Photo by Sabrianna on Unsplash

This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find, or make a connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.

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Brian Fernandes

Brian is an alumnus of Roshni Nilaya’s Post Graduate School of Social Work, HR Department and has 30 years of local and international HR and General Management experience. Journalism, poetry, and feature writing is a passion which he is now able to pursue at will. Additionally, he loves compering and hosting talk shows. He loves learning and imparting it; so, when time permits, he provides leadership facilitation and soft skills training to Postgraduate students and Corporates in Mangaluru and Bengaluru. Besides, he is an accomplished Toastmaster under the aegis of and a designated Distinguished Toast Master.

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